Shepherd's Huts – The Best Shepherd's Hut Glamping Sites i
Shepherd's Hut Glamping in the UK, France & Europe
Nothing provides better year-round glamping accommodation than a shepherd's hut. Inspired by the travelling shepherds of old, transporting their wares in these four-wheeled hideouts, shepherd's hut are arguably the origin of glamping. Sure, shepherd's back then didn't have deep double beds and en-suite toilets but what's to stop us now? If you're looking for the best shepherd's hut glampsites you've come to the right place. Browse our selection of the best Shepherd's Hut glamping here on the Cool Camping website and book your next glamping holiday online today.
What is a shepherd's hut?
Shepherd’s huts were originally used several hundred years ago, with the earliest notes about their use dating back to the late 16th century. The huts were humble affairs, crafted on farms and built with whatever was at hand. If you had a resident carpenter or woodsman on the farm, then your shepherd’s hut would have been built from wood and, if a blacksmith, then it would be built from repurposed metal. These huts were not about luxury but about a simple, practical shelter for working hill farmers and shepherds.
The use of shepherd's huts peaked in the mid 19th century, a time when they were particularly prevalent in the south of England and in Wales – most notably in the South Downs, the West Country and the rolling Welsh valleys. It was around this time, too, that you’ll find them inspiring novelists such as Thomas Hardy. Shepherd’s huts began to dwindle in the 20th century, with the advent of mechanised farm machinery and electric power reaching rural farms. They were still used, however, in the more remote part of the county and in the roughest upland terrain, particularly Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.
During these times, a shepherd’s hut offered everything rolled into one. A shepherd’s hut was a bedroom, dining room, kitchen, sitting room, storeroom and wet-weather shelter all simultaneously. They would almost always have a stove with a chimney in one corner – providing heating, drying and somewhere to cook – and a window on each side so that the shepherd could see his flock from inside. A hinged stable door, positioned away from the prevailing wind, enabled the shepherd to hear the flock and any stirs of trouble, while strong axels and wheels allowed the shepherd to move with the sheep, from field to field or area to area. At times, shepherd’s may be out in their hut for months at a time.
Today things have changed. Shepherd’s huts have become a far more luxury offering and, when it comes to glamping, you’ll now find shepherd’s huts with deep double beds, plump pillows, en-suite bathrooms, modern kitchens, electricity and running water. Some glamping sites offer genuine, original shepherd’s huts that have been restored from their former use and are now offered to glampers. Other sites will offer newly built units with all the mod cons you could ask for, like power showers and under-floor hearing. Whatever you’re after, here on the Cool Camping website we're sure to know of a place that’s right for you. Browse our collection now and book your break online today.
Why go glamping in a shepherd's hut?
As with all glamping, the benefit of staying in a shepherds hut is that you needn't faff about with the tent or clog your car with expensive camping gear. Even so, when compared with other forms of accommodation such as tipis and safari tents, you'll often find the shepherd's hut comes hut on top. Shepherd's huts are one of the most popular forms of glamping accommodation and for good reason. They offer sturdy, weather-proof accommodation all year round and, while the likes of bell tents and yurts may prove appropriate in the sunny glamping months of summer, during the depths of winter the shelter of a shepherd's hut is very tough to beat. There is also something wonderfully romantic about glamping in a shepherd's hut. They offer a sense of history and heritage that something like a modern glamping pod cannot offer. There's nothing more wonderful, for example, than sitting cosy around the log-burner while rain tap-dances on the corrugated roof of your hut. The compact, practical nature of a shepherd's hut, meanwhile, also makes it a handy alternative to staying in a modern cottage or holiday home. They offer self catered accommodation all rolled into one small space, with a kitchen, bedroom and living space all seamlessly combined and often at a far better price too.
Five Reasons we love glamping in a shepherd's hut
– Warm, dry and cosy, they offer the perfect insurance against the weather all year round.
– There's no need to bring and buy a tent.
– There's something undeniably romantic about hiding away in these snug and historical abodes.
– Sturdy, strong and versatile, shepherd's huts will often offer electricity, running water and handy kitchen facilities.
– You'll feel like the protagonist in a Thomas Hardy novel.
Glamping in a shepherd's hut abroad
Shepherd's huts are, given their history, an inherently British structure. As a result, if you're going glamping in France they are generally much fewer and far between. In France, Spain and the rest of Europe you will also generally find that glamping accommodation caters to the warmer, sunnier climate. The likes of bell tents, safari tents and airy canvas structures are far more prevalent. Nevertheless, there are one or two shepherd's hut glamping sites on the continent and, if your travelling during the cooler season, they're worthwhile seeking out. Here on the Cool Camping website you can search and find shepherd's huts quickly and easily and also filter your results using our handy refine your search function. Whatever you're after, you've come to the right place.
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